Darden recently hosted the inaugural Women in Leadership Summit, welcoming a terrific lineup of speakers, panelists, and audience members who engaged in topical discussions around tech, venture capital/private equity, inclusivity, sustainability, entrepreneurship, equity and belonging and more. View the full story on the Darden Report.

The sold-out event featured leading-edge discussions, networking and skill-building focused on developing and celebrating women leaders in times of change under the overarching theme of “The Great Reinvention.”

The Women in Leadership Summit has grown out of Women@Darden, a multifaceted initiative intended to develop initiatives that will drive the school toward gender equity and ultimately make Darden the business school of choice for women interested in graduate business education. The Summit represents one of many initial steps with a focus on building connections and lasting relationships between the Darden School and its students, faculty and alumnae, as well as educating women on the value of business education.

The event concluded with the presentation of several new women’s leadership awards that recognize individuals in the community for their outstanding leadership and contributions to the advancement of women in business.

Awards and Awardees

Women’s Leadership Champion Award – Lorraine Hariton

Hariton is president and CEO of Catalyst, the global nonprofit working to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. She has been a champion for women across many facets of her career in public service, business and the nonprofit space.

Recent Alumni Leader Award – Angelica Alam (MBA ’14)

Alam is the founder and president of The PowHER Circle, a community of women focused on their own and collective journeys to remove doubt, elevate confidence, and create opportunities in the pursuit of personal and professional goals. She also serves as finance systems manager at Meta.

Women’s Leadership Summit Trailblazer Award – Natalia Alvarez Diaz (MBA ’22)

For her leadership and numerous contributions to advancing women and gender equity at Darden, inside and outside of the classroom, through her work with faculty, Admissions, Women@Darden, the MBA Diversity Equity and Inclusion initiatives, and her presidency of the Graduate Women In Business club. Diaz is a visionary leader, paying careful attention to the individuals and the community around her, working to make Darden the best school it could be for women.

Prospective Students

Following the Summit, Darden Admissions hosted a special Women in Leadership Admissions Symposium event on Saturday. Prospective students participated in a Women@Darden dialogue with senior associate dean Yael Grushka-Cockayne and professor of practice Carolyn Miles, had the opportunity to engage first-hand with a case discussion and heard from the Women in Leadership Summit Recent Alumni Award recipient, Angelica Alam (MBA ’14).

Connect with Darden at one of our upcoming featured virtual events:

Women@Darden ‘Office Hours’ With Professor Melissa Thomas-Hunt and Senior Assistant Dean Dawna Clarke 

Thomas-Hunt is the former Head of Global Diversity and Belonging at Airbnb where she led the strategy and execution of our global internal diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging programs. For 25 years, she has taught MBAs and executives leadership, team dynamics, and negotiations and conducted research on the factors that unleash, leverage, and amplify the contributions made by individuals, particularly women, underrepresented individuals, and numerical minorities.

Thursday, 27 October, at 4 p.m. Eastern | Sign up here

Why Darden? Q&A With Dean Scott Beardsley and Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Clarke

Join Dean Scott Beardsley and Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Clarke for an informative conversation about why there’s truly never been a better time to join the Darden community. During this one-hour session, which will include Q&A from attendees, Beardsley and Clarke will share insights about topics like the importance of financial accessibility and scholarships, Darden’s unique academic environment, updates on School priorities and how students can take a Darden MBA ‘from here to anywhere.’

Wednesday, 2 November, at 12 p.m. Eastern | Sign up here

Event Recordings and Highlights

View a highlight reel and watch the plenary sessions below, including:

  • Keynote address from Connie Hallquist (MBA’91), president of Garnet Hill
  • Live recording of Good Disruption, a podcast featuring discussion between Professors Michael Lenox and Yael Grushka-Cockayne on cutting edge technologies that challenge the status quo
  • New World of Work plenary session featuring Professor Allison Elias, which explored a wide-ranging discussion with Meghan Welch of Plaid, Jenny Abramson of Rethink Impact and Meghan Fennell of Deloitte
  • Awards presentation and fireside chat with award recipient Loraine Hariton and Professor Mary Margaret Frank